How do I retrieve transaction information from Payflow Link servers?

The Return URL Method (POST) and the Silent Post feature store information collected on PayPal-hosted order processing forms.

  • The Return URL Method (POST) returns the customer and transaction data to the website that you specify in the Return URL field (typically your merchant site). If you don't specify a URL, then the Continue button doesn't appear on the Receipt page.
  • When the customer clicks Continue, the HTML Post method is used to return data to your site. You get posted information on approved transactions only.
  • If the customer doesn't click Return, or if the transaction is declined, the transaction data doesn't post to your site. When transactions are declined, a Declined button displays that the customer clicks to return to your Order page.
  • Silent Post is an optional feature that ensures that the transaction data is passed back to your website when a transaction is completed. It uses the HTML Post method to return data to your site as soon as the transaction is approved or declined. This occurs even if a customer closes the browser before returning to your site, or if the PayPal-hosted payment confirmation page is disabled.

Setting up Silent Post

Here's how:
  1. Log in to PayPal Manager.
  2. Click Service Settings, then select Setup from the Hosted Checkout Pages section.
  3. On the Setup page, set Use Silent Post to Yes.
  4. Enter the Silent Post URL on your server.
  • To ensure that transactions proceed only when your script actually receives the data returned by the Silent Post, you must enable Force Silent Post Confirmation by checking Void transaction when my server fails to receive data sent by the silent post.
  • Quotation marks aren't allowed in the Return URL or Silent Post URL.
  • If you're inexperienced in writing HTML or CGI code, use the Return URL Method (LINK) instead.

Example transaction response
For each completed transaction, PayPal sends a response string in a name/value pair format. The values combine the results of your transaction request and the original transaction data that was submitted. The following example shows a credit card sale transaction response.
&ADDRESS=123 Test Dr E&CITY=Testville&STATE=CA&ZIP=12345&COUNTRY=USA&PHONE=123-456-7890
&FAX=555-555-5555&USER1=User 1&USER2=User 2&USER3=User 3&USER4=User 4&USER5=User 5&USER6=User 6

For more information, see the PayPal Gateway Developer Guide and Reference Guide.